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System Specific Notes

Linux: The linux touch system is currently based off event streams, and proc/bus/devices. The active user must be given permissions to read /dev/input/TOUCHDEVICE, where TOUCHDEVICE is the event stream for your device. Currently only Wacom tablets are supported. If you have an unsupported tablet contact me at and I will help you get support for it.

Mac: The Mac and iPhone APIs are pretty. If your touch device supports them then you'll be fine. If it doesn't, then there isn't much we can do.

iPhone: Works out of box.

Windows: Unfortunately there is no windows support as of yet. Support for Windows 7 is planned, but we currently have no way to test. If you have a Windows 7 WM_TOUCH supported device, and are willing to help test please contact me at

=========================================================================== Events =========================================================================== SDL_EVENT_FINGER_DOWN: Sent when a finger (or stylus) is placed on a touch device. Fields:

SDL_EVENT_FINGER_MOTION: Sent when a finger (or stylus) is moved on the touch device. Fields: Same as SDL_EVENT_FINGER_DOWN but with additional:

SDL_EVENT_FINGER_UP: Sent when a finger (or stylus) is lifted from the touch device. Fields: Same as SDL_EVENT_FINGER_DOWN.

=========================================================================== Functions =========================================================================== SDL provides the ability to access the underlying SDL_Finger structures. These structures should never be modified.

The following functions are included from SDL_touch.h

Devices are tracked by instance ID, of type SDL_TouchID.

To get a list of available device SDL_TouchID values, call SDL_GetTouchDevices(). This returns an array of device IDs, terminated by a zero ID. Optionally, you can get a count of IDs by passing a non-NULL int* to SDL_GetTouchDevices() if you'd rather not iterate the whole array to get this number.

A SDL_TouchID may be used to get pointers to SDL_Finger.

SDL_GetNumTouchFingers(touchID) may be used to get the number of fingers currently down on the device.

The most common reason to access SDL_Finger is to query the fingers outside the event. In most cases accessing the fingers is using the event. This would be accomplished by code like the following:

  float x = event.tfinger.x;
  float y = event.tfinger.y;

To get a SDL_Finger, call SDL_GetTouchFinger(SDL_TouchID touchID, int index), where touchID is a SDL_TouchID, and index is the requested finger. This returns a SDL_Finger *, or NULL if the finger does not exist, or has been removed. A SDL_Finger is guaranteed to be persistent for the duration of a touch, but it will be de-allocated as soon as the finger is removed. This occurs when the SDL_EVENT_FINGER_UP event is added to the event queue, and thus before the SDL_EVENT_FINGER_UP event is polled. As a result, be very careful to check for NULL return values.

A SDL_Finger has the following fields:

Please direct questions/comments to: (original author, API was changed since)

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